The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has officially filed a lawsuit against President Trump over his decision to ban transgender Americans from serving the military.
The ACLU made the announcement on Twitter on Monday morning, tweeting: “BREAKING: We’re taking @realDonaldTrump to court to challenge the unconstitutional transgender military ban.”
— ACLU National (@ACLU) August 28, 2017
Trump signed a presidential memo last Friday instructing the Department of Defense to stop accepting transgender people who enlist for military service.
The memo followed his tweet last month where he claimed that he had consulted with “generals and military experts” and decided the “United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” he claimed.
“The Trump administration has provided no evidence that this announcement was based on any analysis of the actual cost and disruption allegedly caused by allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly,” the ACLU wrote in their 39-page complaint, filed on behalf of six military service members in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
“News reports indicate the Secretary of Defense and other military officials were surprised by President Trump’s announcement, and that his actual motivations were purely political, reflecting a desire to accommodate legislators and advisers who bear animus and moral disproval toward men and women who are transgender, with a goal of gaining votes for a spending bill that included money to build a border wall with Mexico.”
LGBT rights groups Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN also announced on Monday morning that they had filed a lawsuit against Trump over the transgender military ban.
“This ban not only wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving, it also compromises the safety and security of our country,” Peter Renn, Lambda Legal’s senior attorney, said in a statement. “Thousands of current service members are transgender, and many have been serving openly, courageously and successfully in the U.S. military for more than a year—not to mention the previous decades when many were forced to serve in silence.